views from the gods

saints and sinners of the stage and screen

Miss Glory Pearl: The Naked Stand Up
Cabaret Bar (The Vaults)
18th November 2014


Publicity image for Miss Glory Pearl

Photography © Sin Bozkurt

Have you ever had that dream where you turn up for work without any clothes on? Well, for Miss Glory Pearl, a comedienne who does stand up whilst naked, that's reality. Body confidence? She has it. There's no attempt to cover up or use mood lighting to achieve the most flattering look possible - this is one woman with her kit off. Deal with it. Miss Glory Pearl bemoans attracting "real woman" comments - fair enough, we all know those are the sort of compliments which are secretly insults - but what is truly impressive is how at ease she seems on stage. It doesn't matter what your size or shape is, that's a difficult feat to pull off in a room full of strangers.

The cabaret bar is dressed in red, with an archway of lights giving a bit of razzle dazzle to the set, but whilst this happily fits with Miss Glory Pearl's show, it's not specific to her one, it's just what the festival organisers have done to the room. Without any clothes on and little involvement in the set design, you might think it's hard to get her personality across, but she accessorises her birthday suit with a hat, heels, winning smile and a handbag with a cartoon design. Before she even opens her mouth and the well-spoken middle-class voice tumbles out, we know this is one classy lady.

Miss Glory Pearl is engaging enough, at no point do you feel like tuning out, even though she graciously gives her blessing at the start of her act to just stare at her rack for the full hour. However, the shock value of her being naked doesn't last very long, and once you get past that, well, there's nothing that edgy about her show. Don't get me wrong, we're never bored - but we're never challenged either. Her material isn't provocative, it's more observational comedy and that's a specific type of humour which tends to limit itself as only mildly funny.

Over the course of the hour, we hear about how Miss Glory Pearl ended up doing what she does - with a varied career including teaching and trapeze work - together with her views on self-acceptance and feminism. Spoiler alert: she thinks it's good to not hate yourself and that feminism is also good. If you do hate yourself - or least a part of yourself - show her your "circle of shame" and she'll try to justify why you should love that wobbly bit after all. "This is a space of love and acceptance - at least, I'm really hoping it is," she says optimistically, and is rewarded by a game audience.

A bit of interaction goes down well, although perhaps unfortunately some of the loudest cheers of the night are given to impromptu jokes made by the punters themselves. But credit has to go to Miss Glory Pearl in the first place for creating the sort of relaxed atmosphere which nurtures such humour. The audience are happy to spend time with her, and that's reflected in how much they're willing to connect with her. They lament their big bellies, unevenly sized breasts - and tell her how much they like their eyes and lips. It turns out a naked lady does wonders for getting a bunch of random people in a room talking to each other.

Miss Glory Pearl has a well-practised patter and she's a lot of fun to be around. She's thoroughly likeable and charms a crowd quickly. But despite her no-clothes calling card, this is a relatively tame 60 minutes in which you'll chuckle a few times and smile an awful lot, but won't end up laughing until your sides ache. A safe enough bet for a good night out.

Miss Glory Pearl ran on 18th November 2014 at The Vaults, as part of Mimetic Festival.

Nearest tube station: Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee)

Follow us on Twitter

Leicester Square







performing arts